Students and alumni sang along to the BYU fight song during the annual homecoming opening ceremonies held in the Marriott Center on Oct. 20. This year's theme, "Reach for the Summit," is named after the 2009 honored founder Eugene Lusk Roberts, who served as BYU's first athletic director and was an avid hiker.
Although Brother Roberts died in 1953, his legacy as the first athletic director lives on after he brought physical education and social and other forms of dance to the student body and campus. He is also known for dubbing BYU athletes as "cougars" after writing it in his newspaper sports column.
BYU's student association president Elise May hosted the ceremony to celebrate the many different areas of the university. President Cecil O. Samuelson and his wife, Sharon, welcomed those in attendance and invited them to get involved in the homecoming events. Head football coach Bronco Mendenhall spoke and invited everyone to attend the football game on Saturday.
Other participants in the opening ceremonies included the Cougar Marching Band and the George H. Brimhall essay contest winner Seth Ensign, a senior from Sandy, Utah, majoring in economics and political science. The ceremonies ended with the hymn "High on the Mountain Top," a highlight from the Homecoming "Spectacular." In this event, BYU's Men's Chorus, Women's Chorus, Vocal Point, Ballroom Dance Company, Wind Symphony and Young Ambassadors will perform.
After the formal opening ceremonies, members of the Cougar Marching Band led the crowd to Brigham Square on the BYU campus for a Homecoming barbecue.
But this was only the beginning of this week's planned activities.
Each year at Homecoming every college on campus selects and awards one of its graduates with a Homecoming College Award. Those honored will give a lecture Thursday, Oct. 22, at locations throughout the BYU campus. Some of this year's award recipients include Sister Mary Cook, first counselor in the General Young Women Presidency, for the David O. McKay School of Education and Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, for the College of Family Home and Social Sciences.
Other activities scheduled for Homecoming Week include a hike up to the Y on the mountain, a Mr. BYU talent competition, dances and a 5k fun run. The week will conclude with the BYU vs. Texas Christian University football game held at 5:30 on Saturday in the LaVell Edwards Stadium.
For more information about homecoming activities, visit the Web site homecoming.byu.edu.